- 2013 Photographer's Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Selling Your Photography
- How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Group Portrait Photography Handbook
- 500 Poses for Photographing Women
- The Best of Family Portrait Photography: Professional Techniques and Images
- 500 Poses for Photographing Group Portraits
- Selling Your Photography: How to Make Money in New and Traditional Markets
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age
- Legal Handbook for Photographers: The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images
- Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer
First impressions are a big deal, and nothing will make someone consider you unprofessional faster than seeing you dressed in inappropriate clothing. Sure the photographer may be well-accomplished and produce high-quality work. But if he showed up to shoot your wedding in shorts and a tank top, what would you think? The saying “dress for success” always holds true. If you want to be professional, you have to look professional. It may not always seem fair. You won't want to wear black dress pants on a hot summer afternoon. But if this is what the occasion calls for, do it. Show your clients that you're serious and committed to your work by wearing the appropriate attire.
No Business Card
Every photographer should have a business card! If you want any chance to make connections in the photography world (or in any industry) or if you want any chance of meeting clients and making a little money, you have to have a business card. This is the easiest way to have someone get into contact with you. The people you really want to talk to may not have the time to speak with you when you encounter them. A simple slip of the business card makes it easy for both of you. It lets the person know you're interested in getting into contact with them and gives them an easy way to do it. Also make sure that your card looks professional and that your contact information is up to date and appropriate. How many potential clients do you think would contact [email protected]?
Keep you camera, gear, and yourself clean and organized. If you don't care enough to treat your own stuff properly, clients will wonder how much you care about their stuff. Organize your gear so it's easy to find and accessible. Organize your files so that you can easily sort through your different clients and occasions. Organize your website so that it's intuitive and not hard for people to find out about you and your work. This skill can go a long ways in your business and personal life.
Portfolio With Less Than Best Work
A portfolio should only show your very best work. Not your second best, not your almost best, but your very, very best. This is a secret that a lot of professionals have. They don't show their bad work. When someone looks through a portfolio where every image is simply amazing, they'll be stunned. But if even one photo doesn't compare to the rest, guess what that person is going to think about. The one photo that didn't live up to others. Some say that your portfolio is only as good as its worst image. This may mean you have to cut back on the number of photos you have in your portfolio. In fact, it may reduce it quite a bit. But a slim, healthy portfolio will be much more impressive than pages and pages of “pretty good” photos.
No Website or Social Media Site
Having on online presence is a must now. If you want to get your name and your work out there, and if you want people to find you and contact you, you need to have some kind of website. The bigger your web presence, the more potential you have of getting noticed and meeting new connections and clients. Make sure your website is on your business card so others can look you up and see what you're all about.
Poor Communication Skills
This will make you look unprofessional in any field. Being unable to communicate clearly and concisely can have a negative impact on you and your business. Communication with clients and connections is key. Whether talking face-to-face, on the phone, or through e-mails, you should be able to state exactly what you want without your contact having any confusion in interpreting your message. You could be one of the best photographers in the world, but if you can't keep a good communication going between you and your clients, they may look to hire someone else.
Written by Spencer Seastrom